Life in Germany as an Indian Student


Historically, Germany has contributed immensely to human development and has already made a mark in the advancement of science and technology. As it houses Europe’s and the world’s most well-known academic and research institutions, young students and professionals from across the globe are exploring Germany as one of their most sought-after destinations.

Of late, international students from EU and Asian countries are considering Germany for its world-class education and research outputs, innovation in engineering industries, affordable higher education tuition fees, attractive stay back options and attractive employment opportunities. Specifically, from India, there has been a major influx of students. As per DAAD, students from India are the second largest group of international students pursuing higher education in German colleges and universities.

While exhaustive information/material is available on the popularity of Germany as an international study destination, this article summarises the day-to-day experiences that a few Indian students have undergone during their stay in Germany. We have divided their experiences into a few categories. Read on!


Adjusting to Life in Germany – A Transformational Experience

Food! A major flag bearer of Indian diversity! The plural character of Indian society, demonstrated in its cuisine and food traditionally has always been an integral part of the common Indian life. Understandably, food will always be one of the first few things in the mind of a prospective Indian student when he travels/migrates to a foreign land.

One Indian student who pursued a master’s in management degree in Frankfurt stated that studying and living in Germany was a transformational experience for him. Initially, he was overwhelmed by the challenges but determined to embrace them wholeheartedly. While he had never cooked in India and was very well taken care of by his parents, he decided to learn cooking after moving to Germany.

While he had heard people complaining about having a hard time in Germany concerning food, his experience was quite the opposite. He rather relished German cuisine and found it unexpectedly simple. He figured that cafes and restaurants there are offering a variety of foods; students can explore multiple cuisines. He shared that, for fitness enthusiasts, following a particular diet could be easily possible there. Another Indian student also found an Indian supermarket in Munich where Indian (desi) items are available.


Importance of Learning the German Language

Germany is one of those countries on earth which hold their vernacular in high esteem. Although for all practical purposes, foreign nationals can afford to communicate exclusively in English, it is imperative for an Indian student there to learn the German language even for academic communication.

An Indian student who pursued his MBA in Germany shares that while Indian students can survive in Germany by speaking English, the best option would be to learn German. Knowing German makes life easy, e.g. when you need to understand what a particular display board written in German means. He experienced that knowing German expanded his opportunities and provided him with a competitive edge.


Friendly & Supportive German Community

Germans are known globally to be well-cultured, educated and accommodative. Indian students and the global community find the German people organised and supportive. They are also found to be adhering to all rules and regulations. German people are friendly, pleasant to interact with and are there to support in case of any need or emergency. International students have also found the local communities, even in smaller towns, liberal and safe.

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Organised Transportation in Germany

The international community finds that Germans are generally disciplined. Civic sense and punctuality are apparent in day-to-day social conduct. In particular, the discipline exhibited by commuters and punctuality associated with the transport system is remarkable.

The buses, trains and other transport vehicles reach their destinations on time and thus can help travellers plan their days & schedules much in advance, without any long delays. One of the major cities, Munich, is famous for its great bike (bicycle) system. Many Indian students ride a bike or a bicycle to cover short distances. International students can enjoy student discounts on their transport tickets.


Travel Experiences

Germany is one of the oldest places on earth and carries a rich blend of history and contemporary culture. One Indian student, who studied in Hamburg, happily reminisces about the good time he had in Germany. He shared that each city, in terms of its infrastructure and architectural masterpieces, is an interesting combination of the old and the new and is picturesque.

There are many places in Germany which are symbols of their cultural heritage. International student communities who like to explore outdoor activities can visit museums, concert halls, music and food festivals, world-famous sporting events etc.


Practical Tips for Indian Students Studying in Germany

Needless to say, anyone visiting any place on earth as a foreigner should consider a few basic safety guidelines. Based on Indian students’ feedback regarding their experience/stay in Germany, we have compiled a few tips for students aspiring to move to Germany for higher studies.

  1. In Germany, please always carry your Student ID when going out alone or with peers & friends. It could fetch discounts or concessionary rates in supermarkets, movie theatres and museums. You could also enjoy discounts on newspaper subscriptions etc.
  2. If you are in Germany for a longer duration, say one to two years, you can opt for a mobile phone contract or a prepaid SIM card. In case you go for a mobile phone contract, along with a German SIM card, the service provider will offer you a smartphone at a reasonable price. Make sure you are aware of all the terms and conditions. If you opt for a prepaid SIM card only, there is no contract.
  3. Stay aware of all the available options for accessing medical support –the medical emergency number, Germany’s Medical Emergency Service, etc.
  4. Please always carry a doctor’s written prescription while visiting the pharmacy store. You can buy only a few medicines in Germany without a doctor’s written prescription, including over-the-counter medicines, such as cough syrup, nose spray and throat lozenges.

To obtain further insights into the life of Indian students in Germany, please connect with our expert advisors at Manya – The Princeton Review.


Manya – The Princeton Review Advantage

Manya – The Princeton Review offers end-to-end study abroad services encompassing admissions consulting services, test preparation, English language training, career assessment, and international internship opportunities to study abroad aspirants. Founded in 2002, Manya holds an impeccable track record of enabling more than 4 lac students to accomplish their study abroad dreams through its network of 47+ centers across India.

Manya has formed long-lasting global alliances with several market leaders in the education industry in order to maximize the benefits of its large service portfolio. Their list of esteemed partners and affiliations includes – The Princeton Review (TPR), Cambridge University Press (CUP), Cogito Hub, British Council, Tuding to name a few. Manya has also forged 600+ partnerships with international universities across top study abroad destinations.

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How is the weather in Germany?

Germany is one of those countries where one can enjoy all four seasons throughout the year; thus, you will need to carry clothes for all seasons. While summers are warm, winters are cold, with temperatures often dropping below freezing point.

Will I be able to afford various things while studying in Germany?

Living in Germany can cost you about 984 EUR per month. In general, Indian students in Germany are well known for finding their way by earning extra income or pocket money by taking up part-time jobs as teaching or research assistants, English tutors, support staff at coffee shops, etc.

Which part of Germany is cheaper to live in as an Indian student?

The northern and eastern parts of Germany are relatively cheaper as compared to the southern and western parts of Germany. Depending on your university, you can look for accommodation options in North and East Germany for an affordable cost of living in Germany as an international student.

Are there good employment options in Germany for Indian students?

Yes. You can find many good part-time employment opportunities during your educational stay in Germany as an international student. You can take up part-time jobs on your student visa in Germany and work up to 20 hours a week or 120 days a year.

Is it necessary to know German to survive in the country as an Indian student?

Please remember that German is Germany’s official language and is spoken by more than 90% of the population though English is spoken in bigger cities. While it is not mandatory to know German, it will help you if you manage to learn the basics of the language and enable you to interact with locals on a day-to-day basis.

Which are the best engineering universities in Germany?

The Technische Universitat Munchen, RWTH Aachen, Technical University of Berlin and TU Kaiserslautern.

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